Argentina made a statement ahead of the World Cup with a stunning 3-0 victory over Italy in the UEFA / CONMEBOL Finalissima at Wembley.
Although Italy failed to secure Qatar 2022, few would have expected the European champions to be astonished by the Copa America 2021 winners.
Most of the pre-match focus was on Giorgio Chiellini, but the final match of his impressive international career ended in a break with Argentina qualifying 2-0 with goals from Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria.
Italy somehow blocked Lionel Messi and the promoted Di Maria adding a glitter to the points line, but Paulo Dybala finally got a third with the final kick of the match.
Cristian Romero’s brilliant intervention had previously prevented Andrea Belotti from finishing easily in the 20th minute, with the striker then seeing a tossed header saved by Emiliano Martinez a few seconds later.
But soon Argentina took over.
Messi turned surprisingly around Giovanni Di Lorenzo and caught him before scoring a goal for Martinez to drive home.
The Inter striker then turned to the provider during the break, spinning Leonardo Bonucci and feeding Di Maria, who lifted a brave chip over the helpless Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Roberto Mancini made three changes at half-time but only if Argentina were too strong – Donnarumma ran back to stop Bonucci’s back-pass, before twice denying the excellent Di Maria.
Giovani Lo Celso then missed an open goal – albeit a bit late – after a fine performance by Messi, who tested Donnarumma twice.
But Donnarumma ended up being beaten again in the end, instead of Dybala finding the bottom right corner after Messi’s lone run which threatened the Italian defense.